1. You view the Oriental Orthodox Church in the same way that you view the Roman Catholics, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Anglicans, and the Lutherans.Not quite, since eg. the ACOE doesn't accept Ephesus I AFAIK, and there are many differences between us and the other churches you listed.
But we're somewhere on the sliding scale of heterodoxy in your personal point of view, right? Please note that I am asking explicitly for your personal point of view, not what the Eastern Orthodox Church teaches, because there doesn't seem to be a consensus within the Eastern Orthodox Church on the matter. A number of the most respected theologians in your communion acknowledge that we are Orthodox, while others think that we're heterodox. I am asking what you personally think. Please stop hedging.
In other words: heterodox. Right?In the EO Church, usually OOs are considered heterodox or else the matter is under discussion.
You're leaving out the fact that a number of highly respected Eastern Orthodox theologians acknowledge us as Orthodox. Nonetheless, this is peripheral to my question. I am asking what do you
think? Since you didn't even acknowledge that some of your leading theologians think we're Orthodox, I take it that is not an option for you. So you think we're heterodox, right? Please stop hedging and answer me directly, or whatever good will you've attempted to build up with me will be entirely eroded and we'll be right back to where we were a couple of days ago. I'm already finding this exchange almost as frustrating as Remnkemi seems to be finding his exchange with you in this thread.
This is a topic I am open minded about and invite you to more discussion to help me understand, like how essential are Ecumenical Councils in identifying Orthodoxy, right teaching.
Suffice it to say, I agree with Mina, Iconodule, and Fr. Peter. Accepting the Faith upheld by a given council is what is important. Accepting the council itself - especially one which abused our Fathers in the Faith - is not a necessity. In my view, the EO and the OO Churches could unite with the EO holding to 7 (or 9) councils and the OO holding to 3 so long as we agreed on the tenets of the Faith.
2. Were it up to you, you would unite all of the churches you named above based simply upon the fact that we all have a common faith in Christ, and personally speaking, you are an adherent of the Branch Theory. Right?I was talking about personal desires vs. my understanding of Orthodoxy. It's basically important for me to recognize Orthodoxy for what it is.
So then once again you weren't being sincere. You don't really think that a shared faith in Christ is sufficient basis for communion. You just tossed this out there as part of a good cop/bad cop thing.
"The Church is telling me NO...but my heart, my heart is telling me YESSS!!!"
Except it really isn't, because you don't actually believe that Christians should gloss over their doctrinal differences for the sake of unity. The fact that you believe so is actually a good thing you should embrace. The obfuscation and the shady tactics, however, are what makes having a productive, civil discussion with you such a trial, and what makes people eventually either abandon the discussion or end up telling you off. Please, rakovsky, try answering a question in direct, simple terms for once.
Branch theory is kind of tricky for me to accept because I think it is not accepted by EOs. Maybe there is some partial similarity to it sometimes, like in the fact that RCs, Anglicans, and OOs could in exceptional cases take communion in some EO churches whereas Presbyterians and Methodists don't.
In your previous post, you indicated that it is something you wished you could implement. Is this true, or was that another insincere, good cop (rakovsky)/bad cop (the EO Church) "I wish I could say you guys are Orthodox, but you just aren't..." kind of thing?
Yes. It was several years after becoming Orthodox. The importance to EOs of not intercommuning with OOs was not as clear to me at the time.
I went to communion at a Coptic church once, but they denied me.
You tried to commune in a Coptic Church?
Interesting. So at the time, did you not realize that our churches were not in communion? Had no one ever taught you? Or were you taking it upon yourself to make a run at the chalice in one of our churches in spite of the status quo?
I'm not asking you to decide whether or not our churches enter into communion based upon your desires. I'm asking if you personally believe our Church to be Orthodox. Are you saying here, "The Eastern Orthodox Church tells me you are not Orthodox, so, as much as I wish it were otherwise, the answer for me is no"? If so, that is perfectly fine. Just please be clear about it and knock off the obfuscating.The EO Church to the best of my understanding generally says either you are heterodox or else that we are in dialogue, and meanwhile IIRC some serious EO theologians consider you Orthodox. So I am inviting you for a discussion on this question because our churches are in dialogue.
So acceptance of the 7 councils as Ecumenical is for you a necessary component of Orthodoxy. Right?
This isn't an answer. Do you
consider us to be Orthodox? Do you
consider acceptance of the 7 councils to be a necessary component of the Orthodox Faith? Are you - rakovsky - in agreement with:
A. Those EO theologians who think we are heterodox
B. Those EO theologians who think we are Orthodox
C. The jury is still out for you
So for example I would want to ask you how important Ecumenical Councils should be in principle to identifying Orthodoxy.
The Faith makes the Councils, not the other way around. For example, if the Assyrian Church of the East were theoretically to embrace the Orthodox Faith as articulated by Ephesus - explicitly and in no uncertain terms - but declined to enumerate the Council itself among their list of councils considered "Ecumenical", I would be fine with our Church reestablishing communion with them. I'm a fan of the St. Cyril of Alexandria/John of Antioch dynamic.
They said that the Council itself "could not be understood otherwise" than agreeing with already established orthodoxy, IIRC, and did not limit it to statement of faith.
I as the Joint EO-OO Statement says, fundamentally correct.
Acknowledging that the statement of faith produced by a council is not the same thing as deeming that council "fundamentally correct" in all of its aspects.
I think you're reading the document wrong. What they seem to be saying to me is that the council should not be considered in isolation, but rather in light of the Faith of Ephesus I and the clarifications made at Constantinople II. They are deliberately not saying anything about whether the council in its totality should be accepted, but rather are steering clear of that issue entirely, because they know that the Oriental Orthodox Church is never going to say that the council was right in deposing, exiling, and abusing St. Dioscoros.
Amazing Facts About the NewtIt's neat. Did you ever see that happen, Antonious?
Newts have the ability to regenerate limbs, eyes, spinal cords, hearts, intestines, and upper and lower jaws!
Never. I was very careful never to injure my animals, and I consider those researchers who deliberately maim amphibians in order to study this ability to be cruel.
It's an important, interesting topic, so I am glad to discuss it with you in a thread dedicated to that.
In case you have a different understanding of the importance of councils or have counterpoints, I happily invite you to discuss them on another thread.
I invite you to another thread for this.
If you want to discuss my personal views, experiences, etc. about EOs-OOs, relationships, it's OK, but better for another thread.